FAQ

We will regularly update our FAQ section with questions we know you want the answers to. If you think we are missing some important information in this section, please let us know by getting in touch at bcsa@borderscollege.ac.uk

To access the 2015/2016 Bursary, student support fund and EMA payment dates, click here.

Yes, you can! There are public carparks adjacent to all three Borders College campuses in Galashiels, Newtown St Boswells and Hawick. Disabled parking is available in all carparks.

Starting University can be a really exciting time.  But for many students, it can also be an uncertain and unsettling time.  So if you find that things are not going well during your first few weeks – or at any point while you are a student here, it may help to talk to a member of our Welfare team in the Student Advice Centre, which is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

For further information and details about how to make an appointment, e-mail studentwelfare@borderscollege.ac.uk.

Don’t panic – and don’t wait until things get out of hand. Talk to your Course Tutor as soon as you feel you need help. If you are not getting the appropriate support from teaching staff, arrange to meet your Program Leader or Head of Faculty. Alternatively, you can come and have a chat with one of our Students’ Association Officers who can support you in a number of ways. We can get in touch with the relevant staff member, speak with them on your behalf, and come with you to meetings if you need a bit of moral support.

Get in touch by e-mailing us at bcsa@borderscollege.ac.uk or popping into our office, room 00.61 on Scottish Borders Campus.

The College has a dedicated team with specific responsibilities to provide support, advice and guidance to students who are carers or are in care. The College and Students’ Association also work closely with local support services (i.e. The Carers Trust) in order to help you access a tailored support service that best suits your circumstances.

If you would like to find out more about how the College can help you, please get in touch:
T: 01896 662516
E: studentwelfare@borderscollege.ac.uk
Or pop into the Student Advice Centre or Students’ Association for a chat.

You can also get support from organisations and charities within the community
Carers Trust Scotland
www.carers.org/scotland

Borders College has a dedicated team of people who support students with whatever challenge they may face. Whether it’s a health problem, sensory impairment, mobility issue, mental health issue of specific difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, Borders College can offer you the support you need.

If you want to contact the College about a specific issue or for further information, advice and support, contact the Student Advice Centre on 01896 662506 or e-mail studentwelfare@borderscollege.ac.uk

What doesn’t it cover!

Our Welfare Team offers a confidential service where you can talk to someone if you have concerns about balancing family commitments with your studies, coping on student income, feel under stress. These are only examples. In addition, all our Welfare Advisers are qualified in Mental Health First Aid.

There are several people who you can speak to and will be able to help – if they don’t know the answer, they will be able to find someone else who does! Before the course starts, perhaps the best place to contact is the Student Advice Centre on 01896 662516 (where there are advisers for Funding, Transport, Admissions and Welfare) or the Students’ Association office on 01896 662586. During term time, in addition to these points of contact, you will have your Course Tutor and other lecturers.

Firstly, please let us know. If you are eligible for a bus pass, you can collect it on your first day in College, from the Student Advice Centre at Scottish Borders Campus or the Reception of Newtown or Hawick Campuses depending on where your course is based. You will be expected to make your own travel arrangements for College on that first day.

No – you will be asked to make your own way into Enrolment but, if you are entitled to it, you should receive a bus pass during enrolment which will allow you to travel when the course starts. If you have any questions, our Transport Advisor will be present during Enrolment to answer any questions.

There is a question in the Funding application which asks if you require childcare. If you have confirmed this, the Funding Team will add a new tab to the electronic application nearer to the start of the course and you will be able to complete that information online.

You will receive the paperwork for this through the post to your home address. There are forms which you need to sign and return to us to confirm that you accept it so we can’t do that electronically.

You will receive an acknowledgement when you submit the application and this will go to the e-mail address that you used to register. Updates will also be sent to that address so it’s important that you continue to check your e-mails until your application is complete.

You could take a photo and upload that but you need to make sure that the image is clear. As an alternative, you can bring the documents in to one of our campuses or post them and we will scan and upload them for you.

No – you should fill in the application, click the buttons to say that you will send in the paperwork later, then submit the application. The funding is done on a first come, first served basis so this way, it means your application will be in line for processing. Don’t wait until you have collected everything as this will take extra time.

A team of elected student representatives (the Executive team) work on your behalf to identify issues that affect students and draw them to the College’s attention. They will campaign on your behalf, challenge college policy and ensure they have representation on every Faculty Council Meeting to ensure your voice is being heard within the College. Student representatives attend all College committees relating to the student experience to provide the student perspective. Our President, along with one other nominated student representative, even sits on the College’s Board of Management.

When you enrol on a Borders College course, you automatically become a member. You can opt-out of the Students Association (by emailing bcsa@borderscollege.ac.uk) but why would you? Your membership is free and gives you access to some great sources of support! It also enables you to apply for an NUS card which provides a range of student discounts across a number of high street retailers.

Elections for the roles on the Executive Team take place every year. In the run up to the election period, each candidate is given the opportunity to run campaigns and advertise their ‘manifesto’ (plans for their year in office). You can vote in person on campus, or online. To vote, you must be a current Borders College student.

Class representatives are voted for by the students in their class. Class reps will be nominated before October.

Faculty Council Chairs are nominated during the last Faculty Council Meeting of the year. To be eligible to become a chair, candidates must have a minimum of one years’ experience as a class representative.

There isn’t really much of a difference! Normally, a Student Union has its own building on the campus, dedicated to social, organisational activities, representation and academic support for students.  Borders College Students Association does not own a social space, however is afforded use of the Union space and other areas around the college to host events and activities. Our office is located next to the shop in room 00.61.

The Students Association is funded in three different ways; we receive a grant from the Scottish Funding Council, and a small annual grant from the College. We also gain a small income through ownership of pool tables and table football games in social spaces across campuses. All takings go directly into the Students Association where it is spent on a variety of activities, events and items relevant to students at Borders College.

NUS-ApprenticeNUS Apprentice extra discount card has been developed by the National Union of Students and will offer apprentices many of the same discounts and benefits as other students.

NUS Apprentice Extra works in partnership with the leaders in apprenticeships and apprentices. City & Guilds, National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), Not Going To Uni.

NUS Apprentice extra provides discounts on a variety of essentials from more than 150 high street and online retail partners. Discounts are available on travel, sport, books and DVD, technology, mobile and broadband, as well as fashion, beauty and going out.

Money generated from sales of the card will go towards funding a National Society for Apprentices, which will serve to represent the needs of apprentices and offer them support during their vocational training.

To learn more about NUS apprentice card or to apply for yours today, click here

NUS-card-ExtraNUS extra gives you more student discounts than anywhere else. Hundreds of discounts are available exclusively for students from just £12! The NUS Extra card is now valid for 1, 2 or 3 years.

Participating companies include Co-op food, Apple, Pizza Express, Alton Towers, New Look, Asos, Amazon, Odeon, 16–25 rail card, Spotify and many more!

Apply for your card here

Whether it’s being a Class Rep, Faculty Chair, Executive Member, Sabbatical Officer or even just volunteering a few hours in the office, there’s loads of ways to get involved!

Drop us a line on bcsa@borderscollege.ac.uk or visit the Your Voice section for more info!

All students at Borders College become automatic members of the Students Association. If you want to access a huge amount of online and national retailer’s student discounts, you can buy an NUS Extra card online or by popping into your Students’ Association office.

We aim to resolve students’ problems at an informal level where possible. If you feel comfortable, get in touch with your class rep and they can help you with your issue. If you feel it’s serious enough or that you’re not comfortable going to your class rep, get in touch with your Students Association on bcsa@borderscollege.ac.uk

If your problem can’t be resolved informally, then the formal process is as follows:

  1. Level 1 Complaint: Dealt with by a member of college staff
  2. Level 2 Complaint: Often dealt with by a Manager or Vice-Principal
  3. Appeal to the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman

In the unlikely event that your problem can’t be resolved informally, then we are able to support you through the above process. Get in touch if you need any assistance.

For more information about how complaints are handled at college, click here to read the Complaints Policy and Complaints Handling Procedure.

For full-time courses: 0300 555 0505
For part-time courses: 0300 300 3137

Calls to these numbers from a UK land line are charged at a local rate, but call costs from elsewhere in Europe, or from a mobile, may be considerably higher.

Opening Hours
Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5.00pm
Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm

From 3 June to 31 October the opening hours will be:-
Full-time undergraduate enquiries – Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm
Part-time, Postgraduate Nursing and DSA enquiries – Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm only (4.30pm on a Friday)

Your first port of call is the Student Advice Centre. They’re the experts and can give you the advice and support you need to resolve your problem.

You can also have a read of this Funding Guide which gives you an overview of how student funding in Scotland works.

We also work with an organisation called Penumbra who can provide advice on a whole range of money matters. If you’d rather talk to a professional out with the college, Penumbra are there for you. They run a regular drop-in service throughout the year – check your college e-mail and Facebook for the latest dates.

They are also contactable by phone;

Sam – 07876 704 107
Gilly – 07717 423 952

If you’ve tried all these options and your problem still hasn’t been resolved, contact us on bcsa@borderscollege.ac.uk with your Name, Campus and Student Number and we’ll get in touch with you ASAP.